QUICK REVIEW: Burger King Frosted Frozen Fanta Orange

Burger King Frosted Frozen Fanta Orange

What is it?

In case the name didn’t give it away, it’s Burger King’s new summer drink blending Frozen Fanta Orange with vanilla soft serve.

How is it?

Burger King Frosted Frozen Fanta Orange 2

Decent, adequate, ordinary.

Grab a thesaurus, or use that Google thing, and pick your favorite adjective for average. Mine is fair to middling. With a simple concoction such as this, it would be hard to envision it being incredible or terrible. And it’s not; it’s just okay.

Burger King Frosted Frozen Fanta Orange 3

I was expecting more of an orange Creamsicle/Dreamsicle taste. This will remind you of that, but only faintly. There just wasn’t much tang from the Fanta and not much sweetness from the soft serve. Also, the consistency was a touch gritty — not quite a milkshake and not quite a slush.

Maybe the BK soft serve is to blame (after all, Dairy Queen and McDonald’s are known for their soft serve; BK not so much). I’m not sure I even knew BK had soft serve before having this.

Is there anything else I need to know?

One caveat about this review: upon ordering I was given the dreaded “let me see if the machine is working” response. After a less-than-confident “I think so” from the manager, my order proceeded. And the Burger King I patronized did not have Fanta of any variety at the soda fountain, so that made me wonder where said Fanta came from for my drink. Unfortunately, the machine that might or might not have been working properly was located out of view, so the mystery endures.

Conclusion:

If you are having one of those blah days where you don’t want to be too excited about something or too disappointed, this might be the drink for you.

Purchased Price: $2.00
Size: 16 oz.
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 180 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 grams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 42 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 41 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Taco Bell Watermelon Freeze

Taco Bell Watermelon Freeze

What is it?

The latest flavor creation in Taco Bell’s Freeze line of slush drinks, this variation adds some candy “seeds” to the mix to give it a unique look.

How is it?

Gimmicky but good. The watermelon flavor is about as expected. It’s a bit milder than some previous Freeze offerings, like the Strawberry Skittles flavor, and it’s not too sweet nor too tart.

But what about the candy seeds? Well, they really don’t bring much to the table, other than slowing down the slush-making process. Your friendly Taco Bell barista must first open a little package of seeds, fill the cup about a third of the way with slush, sprinkle in some seeds, fill more of the cup, sprinkle in more seeds, and so on.

Taco Bell Watermelon Freeze 2

Eerily, the result for my drink looked like some sort of weird candy seed face starting me down, just daring me to drink it. I took the dare, and while the watermelon flavor was nice, the seeds didn’t add much flavor at all. The black coating was almost flavorless, and the inside only had a faint sugary taste, like an unflavored Smartie.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Taco Bell Watermelon Freeze 3

Nothing frustrates me more than a clogged straw caused by candy pieces mixed into an ice cream or slush drink, but there’s no need to worry about that here. The straw provided (in watermelon rind green) is of ample circumference to allow multiple seeds to easily travel from the cup to your piehole without fear of obstruction. Be forewarned though, the larger volume straw also increases the probability of brain freeze.

Taco Bell Watermelon Freeze 4

And weirdly, the seeds seem to lose their coating after a few minutes of swimming in the slush, so by the time I got to the bottom many of them had a bit of a speckled egg look.

Conclusion:

Even though the candy seeds seem like a missed opportunity —imagine if they were kiwi flavored or something else to complement the watermelon slush — overall the Watermelon Freeze still a refreshing summer drink and quite a bargain if you score one during Happy Hour.

Purchased Price: $2.29 (or $1 during Happy Hour from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.)
Size: 16 oz.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 220 calories, 0 grams of fat, 60 milligrams of sodium, 59 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 58 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Peanut M&M’s Sweet & Salty Snack Mix

Peanut M M s Sweet  Salty Snack Mix

What is it?

A mix of two types of M&M’s — peanut and peanut butter — with peanuts and pretzel balls. There’s also a milk chocolate version available with milk chocolate and Crispy M&M’s mixed with almonds and pretzel balls.

How is it?

Peanut M M s Sweet  Salty Snack Mix 2

Solid, but unspectacular. Even though the pretzel balls are pictured sparingly on the outside of the bag, they seem to be the most populous of the residents inside the bag. The peanuts are a touch disappointing in that they are neither sweet nor salty.

It might have been better if they were salted or honey roasted; instead, they are just kind of there and don’t differentiate themselves from their brothers and sisters encapsulated in chocolate with a candy coating. Despite those shortcomings, the mix of the four components does accomplish the stated goal of being sweet and salty, and overall it makes for a tasty, satisfying snack.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Peanut M M s Sweet  Salty Snack Mix 3

Using a trick perfected by potato chip industry, the bag is much larger than it really needs to be based on the contents inside. While the label proudly trumpets that it is “Sharing Size,” I’d advise using restraint before announcing to friends, family, or co-workers that you are indeed open to sharing a bag. The label says there are “about 8 servings,” but if you invite more than two others into your circle of sharing then no one is going to get much.

Conclusion:

There’s really nothing remarkable about this product, and it would be pretty easy to just create this mix yourself (even if you not a DJ).

With that said, I’ve never seen those little pretzel balls at the store and doing it yourself is never as easy as it looks. So if you like Peanut M&M’s, you’ll enjoy these even though they certainly won’t change your life.

Purchased Price: $2.98
Size: 7.70 oz. bag
Purchased at: H-E-B
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 oz. serving) 130 calories, 7 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Cheetos Stars Summertime Ranch

Cheetos Stars Summertime Ranch

Back in the olden days, there were two varieties of Cheetos: regular (crunchy) and puffs.

Those were dark times for snack food lovers, although as someone who lived through that deprived era I guess I didn’t know what I was missing. Perhaps I was even thankful to have two choices, laughing at my parents who grew up with just the regular version of cheezy goodness.

Of course, now there are so many flavors that I doubt even Chester Cheetah himself can keep track, and he seems too cool to care about such things anyway. Enter the latest addition to the list, Cheetos Stars Summertime Ranch.

Unlike many of the recent introductions, this version doesn’t feature any variation of Flamin’ Hot, spicy, fire, jalapeno, habanero or anything of that ilk. And even though cheddar cheese is far down in the ingredients, there is no orange hue and no cheese taste to these star-shaped puffs.

Cheetos Stars Summertime Ranch 2

So, what do these have to offer? Well, not a whole lot. Basically, these are plain puffs covered with Cool Ranch Doritos dust. Cheetos and Doritos are both owned by Frito-Lay, so maybe there was some kind of accident where uncoated Cheetos puffs fell into a vat of Cool Ranch dust. Or maybe someone in management just wasn’t feeling very creative and lazily decided to just combine two of their products (but wait, they are star-shaped!). Either way, the ingredient lists of both are strikingly similar.

If you are a devotee of Cool Ranch Doritos, you’ll probably like these but not love them. In puff form, these are not as satisfying as chips. These could have been more interesting with more of the original Cheetos cheese flavor mixed with Cool Ranch or even with the crunchy Cheetos base instead of puffs, but Frito-Lay never asked me. They also have not acted on my perfectly reasonable suggestion to bring Mountain Dew-flavored Cheetos to America. (Yes, that’s a real thing, or was a real thing, but only in Japan).

Cheetos Stars Summertime Ranch 3

One of my favorite things about original Cheetos is the orange dust on my fingers at the end of a snacking session. Even when the bag is gone, you still get the bonus of licking the magic dust off your digits. (I would tell you that my dog also likes licking Cheetos dust off my fingers, but that would be gross). As for the Summertime Ranch dust, it’s more of a greasy, speckled coating.

I can’t say that I’ve tried every variety of Cheetos, but I’m pretty sure I’ve munched through at least half, and this one lands toward the bottom of the rankings. Ranch flavor goes well with many things — chips, chicken wings, pizza — and I’ve even heard people use it on something called a “salad.”

Maybe it’s because the snack food industry has conditioned me to believe that Cool Ranch goes with chips and cheese flavor goes with puffs, but this flavor flip was a bit of a disappointment.

(Nutrition Facts – About 37 pieces (28 grams) – 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 60 milligrams of potassium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $1.48
Size: 2 5/8 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Nice replication of Doritos Cool Ranch flavor. Pretty cool photo of Chester Cheetah on the bag.
Cons: Lack of any Cheetos cheese flavor. Instead of magical cheese dust on your fingers you just get a greasy coating. Not really anything “summertime” about it.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Peach Cheerios Cereal

Peach Cheerios Cereal

Do you stay up at night wondering what the next new flavor of Cheerios might be? I certainly don’t, but if I did it would take me many, many nights before I’d guess peach as the next flavor of the iconic oat cereal.

Not that there’s anything wrong with peaches. Despite being the only fruit honored in a state nickname (Georgia, for those who didn’t pay attention in geography class), peaches don’t get much love when it comes to cereals.

There are plenty of options with apples and a plethora of berries (including two of my favorites, Boo and Franken). But if peaches are your thing, there haven’t been many options, save for a few with peaches in a supporting role. That is until now with the introduction of Peach Cheerios.

The Cheerios folks have already covered the obvious flavors with fruit variants including apple, banana, strawberry, very berry and “fruity,” plus the ubiquitous chocolate, peanut butter and cinnamon. The makers of Cheerios have even been a little daring and gone outside of the cereal box, so to speak, with Dulce de Leche Cheerios, a flavor similar to caramel. And of course, Honey Nut Cheerios has been a popular flavor for many years. Even though Cheerios had pretty much tapped all the major cereal-friendly fruits, the choice of peach still seemed a little odd to me, but after tasting it, also a pretty brilliant one.

Peach Cheerios Cereal 2

Some cereals pack a flavor punch that hits you right in the face, but Peach Cheerios provide a much subtler taste, almost a sweet kiss on the cheek. It’s not overpowering at all, but there’s just enough flavor to add a pleasant hint of peaches, along with a nice peachy aroma.

If you find regular Cheerios to be a little too oaty (or oatey; spellcheck is not giving me a thumbs up on either one so I’m making up words, I guess) and a bit too bland, then you might really like this slightly sweetened version. It’s certainly not a dramatic departure from regular Cheerios with a slightly pinker color and a light glaze of peachiness, but the latter makes all the difference.

Peach Cheerios Cereal 3

My only disappointment is that the addition of milk didn’t produce the peaches and cream taste I thought it might, but instead it seemed to almost wash away a bit of the peach flavor. It was still good with milk, just not quite as good as eating them naked. To be clear, I am referring to the Peach Cheerios being naked, not me. At least as far as you know.

And here’s a random tidbit: It turns out Honey Nut Cheerios don’t contain nuts, but the name isn’t a complete lie as they do contain honey. So, does Peach Cheerios contain peaches? Well, if you consider “peach puree concentrate” to be peaches, then yes. It’s also “flavored with other natural flavors,” whatever that means. The bottom line is that it’s a solid addition to the Cheerios family.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup – 110 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 120 milligrams of potassium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.87
Size: 23.2 oz. box
Purchased at: H-E-B
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Nice sweetness and taste without being overpowering. You can eat them naked.
Cons: Doesn’t provide a peaches and cream flavor with milk, although it might if you used actual cream. Only here for a limited time.